Q10: free portable dark-room editor

Feb 24, 2008
Updated • Dec 14, 2012

If you are a fan of dark-room type apps and editors which provide much more comfort in comparison with the regular ones in terms of eye strain as well as more intuitive controls, you don't wanna pass this one. Since the first port of the original Mac OS's darkroom type editor was created, several other progs and online services with similar features have appeared. I personally like BigHugeLabs' Writer, an online text editor which I've been using for some time. The little (dis)advantage of this is of course it's online basis. Looking for something "solid" I've come across some editors of this type, however, their requirements usually included either JRE or .NET framework installed which is not exactly portable-friendly in terms of being squeezed into a few kbytes and with minimal system requirements.

Some time ago I downloaded a freeware editor just to see what it has to offer and I was really surprised by its capabilities when I finally got to giving it a try. This light-weight yet powerful editor is called Q10 and it's available as a free download on the website of Baara e-studio. As a portable application fitted into smallish 350 kB with a number of neat features and dark-room nature it beats any competition I've heard of. Another nice thing is that it always launches in full-screen and actually doesn't even have any menu thanks to keyboard shortcuts by which it is controlled. To display these, one must press F1 key. I'm better saying that right away coz it took me a little while to find out.. :)

Now shortly to the features themselves. Notes inside the text, spell checker, alarms, auto corrections, auto completion, auto-save, sound effects, portability.. that's just the basic outline. All kind of info is displayed in the status bar including words, lines, paragraphs, chars and pages count as well as time and full path to the currently edited file (optional). You can change basically anything in this tiny piece of software since all settings it uses are stored in an *.ini file. These include changing all the fonts, colors, backgrounds, margins, infos displayed on the info bar, etc.

Q10 can be either obtained as a version with installer or a compressed archive according to your taste. An IMPORTANT note about this software would be that you may need to change the line ending format to DOS instead of Unix by pressing Ctrl+P and selecting appropriate item under the "Misc" tab so that your text files wouldn't be saved with ugly squares in place of line breaks. Also note that Q10 can open recently edited files but if you delete the last edited, you need to press Ctrl+N for a new clean file or else you'd have to change the file format manually by pressing Ctrl+E and selecting the right option again. That's just a trivial inconvenience though and it's no big deal. Let's go nuts typing !!


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  1. FredFireStone said on April 20, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I’d like the webbased version of Q10 under http://q10editor.net

  2. duryodhan said on February 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    iirc, in linux, you can just ask compiz to go to negetive output , so that all colours are inverted which looks soothing in the dark.

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